Jesus told a story about Donald Trump. Donald built a state-of-the art wine making operation. Good soil, great vines. Installed a winepress, built a security fence. And then he turned it over to a couple winners of “The Apprentice.” When it was time to collect the rent, he sent a messenger. The apprentice pushed him off his bike. Donald sent other collectors. Some were locked out, some were beaten, a couple were left for dead.
Donald sent Ivanka. “They’ll pay attention to her,” he thought. “They wouldn’t dream of killing her.”
They did. They were thinking that if the heir is gone, they get the place.
“What would Donald do?” Jesus asked. He knew what the audience would say. “He’d kill them.” And everyone nodded. What else would a dad do, law or no law?
It was just a story, just a parable. But the response of the religious leaders was real: “they looked for a way to arrest him because they knew he had spoken the parable against them. But they were afraid of the crowd; so they left him and went away.”
We’ve been talking about communication lately. (We’re a church). We create announcements and emails and bulletins and texts and facebook status updates and posters and postcards. We think about phrasing and audience and timing. We consider what people need and like and want.
But I think that better communication isn’t about more information. As my friend Kim said today, “It’s about people owning the information they have.” Somehow, when we live in community, we need to – I need to – accept responsibility for learning what I’m told, for putting into practice what I hear, for not expecting others to remind me constantly of what I’m supposed to do.
Though sometimes, maybe, we just need to tell clearer stories.